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Who's That Gorgeous Creature?

Our daughter’s found a new love – herself.
We’ve played games with the mirror since she was around three months old, and she’s always enjoyed seeing herself in the reflection.  Sneaking up on herself in the mirror is a guaranteed laugh for a good four minutes or so, and tapping the bottoms of her feet against the glass distracts her in the midst of all but a level five meltdown.
Recently, though, she’s hit an important milestone: she’s begun noticing other kids.  Church on Sunday is an awe-inspiring place for her, filled with smaller babies and bigger toddlers.  A couple weeks ago she sat and stared at Abby’s Josh, younger than Maddie by a good four months but roughly the same size as my kiddo.  Mesmerized, she reached out to stroke a sleeping Josh’s hand, just like she’d been practicing stroking Kitty.  When Josh stirred beneath her touch, she jumped, frightened, and looked at me as if to say, “Mommy!  What IS it?”  When confronted with a big kid like Abby’s Isaiah (a towering three years), she gazes awestruck as if afraid to dream of being that big.  All babies, though, are attracting her attention as she starts to take notice of the larger world around her.

I think that’s why she’s suddenly taken her infatuation with herself to a new level – the seven_months_054.jpgawareness of others like her.  Whatever the cause, the result is a baby who coos, flirts, and gets right up in her own face for all the world looking as if she’s saying, “Hey, there, you beautiful girl!  Yes you are, you’re stunning!”  There’s a mirror attached to her playmat and it’s had a resurgence of popularity in Maddie’s playtime.  She’ll drag/roll herself right up to the mirror and breathe quietly (if adenoidally) to her reflection, nose –and, occasionally, tongue – touching the mirror.  She’s even pulled the mirror forward and peeked behind it in a vain attempt to get closer to the baby staring back at her.  We’ve been walking around the house, her crying for no good reason (a specialty these days) when abruptly she’ll stop and begin smiling and cooing.  I’ll be mystified until I realize she’s staring at her reflection in the mirrored glass display cabinets across the room:  “Oh! I didn’t know we had company.”  That kid’s got an eye, I tell ya.
My favorite of these Maddie spottings, though, has to be in her dad’s laptop.  When she sits in Dad’s lap at his desk, she usually gets a good view of either his email or the Dallas Cowboys’ homepage, and while both are interesting, their shelf-life entertainment-wise is limited.  One morning, though, she caught him before the screen was turned on, and sure enough she began waving and chatting with the girl in the mirror.  Pretty soon she’ll be flirting it up with toasters and stovetops.
It’s funny now and we let it go since we’re lazy and it’s easier than arranging an actual live little person for her to interact with.  Someday, though, I know this is gonna come back to bite us in the butt.
For now, I’m happy she has a friend who’s low-maintenance.


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